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Thompson School District votes on mask mandate for K – 8th grade students

August 19, 2021 | Community News

Dear Thompson community:

On Wednesday evening at their regular meeting, the Thompson School District Board of Education facilitated a discussion and action agenda item regarding COVID-19 safety mitigation and masking requirements. As a result of that discussion, the district board voted last night to institute a mandatory face mask requirement for students, staff and visitors in grade levels Pre-K through 8, effective Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. All students within those grade levels, as well as district staff members and visitors in those buildings, will be required to wear face masks while inside the schools.

Over the past several weeks, board members and district staff have received feedback from many families and community members regarding face mask usage within our schools. At the same time, district staff have continued to partner with officials at the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment to monitor data and the impact of the pandemic within the community. Here are some of the factors that were discussed by the board which led to the decision:

The face mask mandate will help keep students in school
Throughout the pandemic, district staff have consistently taken steps to help ensure that students will be able to attend school in-person.  This new face mask policy will assist in the district’s ability to keep our buildings open so that students can receive the in-person instruction and support that our families and staff feel is so important.

Rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases within the community
In recent weeks, Larimer County health officials have detected rising numbers of positive COVID-19 cases within our community.  This rise in cases is also beginning to be detected within our school communities.

Our youngest students are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination
At this time, only students ages 12 and over are eligible for COVID-19 inoculation. The adoption of a face mask mandate will help keep students safe at a time when infection levels are rising within the community. Two of Thompson School District’s schools (High Plains School and Riverview PK-8) serve both elementary and middle school students. The face mask mandate will apply to all Pre-K through 8th grade students within the district.

How long will the face mask mandate be in place?

The mandate is open to modification as deemed necessary or appropriate. Board members will receive regular updates from staff regarding relevant data and other information from county health partners. Please note that adjustments to this policy may be required in the future based on local and state guidance.

What’s Next?

The face mask mandate will go into effect at the start of the school day this Monday, Aug. 23. In the meantime, students and staff members are welcome and are encouraged to wear face masks in order to help ensure safety for themselves and others.

The past several months have indeed been very challenging for our entire community. From the very beginning of the pandemic, our focus as a district has been to continue to provide an excellent educational experience for each of our students, while taking all reasonable steps to help ensure their safety. Just like you, district team members want nothing but the best for our students and families. We have tackled many challenges together throughout this pandemic and as always, we appreciate your help as we work together to support our entire district community.

Thank you for your partnership,
Thompson School District

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